There's really only three things to say about the death of Vickie Lynn Hogan (a.k.a. Anna Nicole Smith):
--- This gets the astroNUT/stalker/B.B. gun-enthusiast (a.k.a. Lisa Nowak) off the front page after her 2 1/2-day reign ...
--- Since we haven't heard from Reginald Dwight (a.k.a. Sir Elton John) in awhile, is this not reason enough to crank out a "Goodbye Vickie Lynn" song like the ones he composed for Norma Jean (a.k.a. Marilyn Monroe) and England's Rose (a.k.a. Lady Di) ... y'know, with catchy metaphors such as people living their lives like a candle in the wind?
--- For those of us who had Jon-Benet's Make-Believe Killer (a.k.a. John Mark Karr) as the winner in the pool of "Who'll Step Up To The Mike Next?" we lost big money when Prince Frederic von Asswipe (a.k.a. Zsa Zsa Gabor's hubby, who isn't a prince at all, by the way) made a big comotion today by tossing in his two cents worth of innuendo and heresay (which he jazzed up on Larry King's show by saying "full of shit" and "bullshit").
Sure makes ya feel bad for the survivors of J. Howard Marshall.
It's as though America is killing the dirty old coot all over again.
So, what does this have to do with sports?
Well, it means that some of us will spend tomorrow night watching the Pro Bowl while eating handfuls of TrimSpa right outta the cannister ... y'know, like the way that we munch on Pringles.
That is ... if TrimSpa comes in a cannister.
We're a little unfamiliar with the Y2K ways of weight loss ever since our homemade method -- granulated ephedra sprinkled over our corn flakes chased with unfiltered Pall Malls -- was outlawed as a "viable" appetite suppressant.
The point we're trying to make is that Vickie Hogan's death yesterday will never qualify for the Top 50 in our catalog of "We Remember Where We Were And What We Were Doing When ... "
Sports almost always does that to us ... and, occasionally, news-related items, too, such as how we remember where we were and what we were doing when Neil Armstrong stepped outside the capsule and set foot on the moon ... and we remember where we were and what we were doing when the first Space Shutte (Columbia) blasted off in April '81 ... and when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded (during lift-off) in Jan. '86 ("Ground Control to Major Tom, your circuit's dead, there's something wrong, can you hear me Major Tom?") ... and when the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded (during re-entry) in Feb. '03 ("Waiting in a trance, the crew is certain / Nothing left to chance, all is working / Trying to relax, up in the capsule / 'Send me up a drink,' jokes Major Tom") ... and when those two jumbo jets collided on the runway in Tenerife (a.k.a. the Canary Islands) and nearly 600 people died ... and when Atta crashed his hijacked jumbo jet into the North Tower in Sept. '01 ...
Oh ... and when Lennon was shot.
And Reagan was shot.
And when the Sikh extremists gunned down Indira Gandhi.
See? The news is always depressing.
Sports is a little more uplifting, notwithstanding the where-we-were-and-what-we-were-doing recollections of when Roberto Clemente's plane went down ... or when the Marshall football team's plane went down ... or when Thurman Munson's plane went down ... or when Bo Rein's plane went down ... or when the Hindenburg went down in Lakehurst, NJ ... or when the limousine in which Vladimir Konstantinov was a passenger crashed into that tree ... or when Brook Berringer's plane went down ... or when Payne Stewart's jet went down ... or when Rodney Culver's flight went down in the Florida Everglades ... or when Rocky Marciano's plane went down ... or when Knute Rockne's plane went down ... or when Cory Lidle's plane hit the NYC high-rise ... or when the car in which Mike Bastinanelli was driving and Darrell Russell was ridin' shotgun crashed into a curb, a tree, a newsstand, a fire hydrant, a light pole, another tree and an unoccupied transit bus at 6 a.m. on the morning of Dec. 15, 2005.
Jeez ... what's with all the athletes and their aviation tragedies?
Thankfully, those are a thing of the past -- and, so far, through the first 40-some-odd days of '07, all we've had are the gunning down of Denver Bronco Darrent Williams on New Year's Day, the falling-off-a-cliff-near-San Pedro death of USC placekicker Mario Danelo a little more than a week after that and the euthanization of America's equine sweetheart, Barbaro, last week.
The landmarks of our lives are not always death-related, although the Mrs. will tell ya that our love was "taking off" as Jim Kelly was piloting her Buffalo Bills to four crash-landings in Super Bowls.
According to her (and a lot of Bills diehards who are more diehardish than she), the pilot of the K-Gun offense was, to some extent, operating the heavy machinery known as the Bills' offense while "under the influence."
So sayeth THIS tribunal: "Justified."
It's not all about anguish and despair.
For those of us who had an ex-girlfriend/fiancee who was courting a Phillies diehard, she probably shoulda done the math as to why the relationship crumbled.
The Phillies went to the World Series the year before we started dating and went to the World Series the year after we broke up.
Obviously, the Phillies weren't inspired to do anything noteworthy during that span.
And, let's not get started about the Steelers.
Giving away free Steelers-Niners tix so that we could attend a wedding?
That's total chick B.S.
It's unconstitutional and immoral.
(It doesn't matter that they lost, 27-7, at Candleshit -- or that Barry Foster allowed that kickoff to bounce free into the end zone without paying much mind to it ... and that the Niners fell on it for a freebie TD ... or that it was an ugly loss wedged in between a powerful, 34-17, win at Mile High and a powerful, 41-10, victory over the Rams on Monday Night Football ... goddammit, Barry, go fetch the F-ing football for chrissakes!)
WHICH REMINDS US ... remember a few years ago when NFL Films/ESPN manufactured that "fantasy" formula for determining an all-time NFL's greatest team? Some of the production value was excellent, such as computerizing Howard Cosell into a virtual pressbox with Joe Theismann (which we know would NOT work nowadays because Joe already had his ego/hands full with an unphotogenic pencilneck named Tony Kornhusker, who regularly goaded the QB into supplying answers which reked of exasperation ...
Anyway, when NFL Films put together it's all-time fantasy playoff broadcasts, it required splicing together many games from seasons past (obviously ... since we can't get the '72 Dolphins to play the '85 Bears).
However, one of the teams featured in the showcase was the '78 Steelers ... and in their game against the '88/'89 Niners (we can't remember which), one of the plays used was Barry Foster's knuckleheaded brain-freeze on the kickoff.
Since Barry Foster wore #29, our game "announcers" (Mike Patrick and Co.) informed us that Ron Johnson (who wore #29 as a Steeler in his years there, '78 thru '84) was the boneheaded kick-returner.
That was mean.
Totally uncalled for.
And, if Ron Johnson has the means, he should send PhotoShop'ed e-mail attachments to the family of Cosell wherein Howie's face is superimposed over all images of John Wayne Gacy ... a fascinating photo essay entitled, "Why Did Howard Cosell Perform And Receive Felatio From Those 33 Teenaged Boys Before Murdering Them And Burying Them Under The Crawl Space Of His House?"
Wait ... weren't we talking about Vickie Hogan?
Actually, we have the next several weeks/months/years to discuss that circus.
She died, but the story's gonna burn bright for years n' years n' years.
The fact of the matter is, we don't remember where we were and what we were doing when we didn't care that a complete no-talent died.
What we remember is where we were and what we were doing when we learned that the U.S. hockey team had defeated the Soviets ... and where we were when Franco made his Immaculate Reception ... and where we were when Big Ben provided The Bus with the Immaculate Redemption ... and where we were when Dutch hit that 2-run double in Game 6 ... or when Sooner TB Quentin Griffin dashed up the middle for the clinching TD in the BCS title game in Jan. '01 ... or when Yzerman's mad-dash down the ice in the opening minute of Game 3 led to that back-breaking goal by Tomas Holmstrom ...
We could play this all day.
While we're eating from the snack platter of Triscuit and TrimSpa ...